The Youth is our Future…

This is a very interesting article from Intenationa Development Journal, I went ahead and copied the article with highlighted factors that I thought were most important aspects of this read.

Take a look at the article and let me know what you think…

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Why young people are key to achieving the SDG

Young people today face considerable challenges in creating a bright future for themselves.

In high-income economies, young people’s prospects have plummeted, and there are significant concerns for their positon in the labour market and the future of their financial security. The situation is worse for young people in low-income countries, where many workers are involved in informal employment – something the ILO describes as sporadic, poorly paid and falling outside the protection of law.

Many of the global challenges to development are especially salient for children and youth. September marks the one-year anniversary of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, where world leaders established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The goals established that young people are a driving force for development – but only if they are provided with the skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential, support development and contribute to peace and security.

One way of doing this would be by implementing an economic citizenship strategy for children and youth. It would help national policy-makers and leading youth-serving organizations achieve many of the SDGs and sub-targets in the drive to create a viable economic and social system for the future.

What is economic citizenship?

An emerging concept in the field of development, economic citizenship refers to “economic and civic engagement to promote sustainable livelihoods, sustainable economic and financial well-being, a reduction in poverty and rights for self and others”. Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, defines economic citizenship as existing inan environment where every citizen has the opportunity and the capacity to exercise his or her economic, social and cultural rights”.

Economic citizenship consists of four components: financial inclusion, financial education and social and livelihoods education.

  • Financial inclusion is access to safe, appropriate and affordable financial services.
  • Financial education includes instruction and/or materials designed to increase financial knowledge and skills.
  • Social education is the provision of knowledge and skills that improve an individual’s understanding and awareness of their rights and the rights of others. It also involves the development of life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
  • Livelihoods education builds one’s ability to secure a sustainable livelihood through skills assessment and a balance between developing entrepreneurial and employability skills.

Economic citizenship has the potential to improve economic and social well-being, increase economic and social engagement, enhance understanding of and respect for basic rights, reduce income and asset poverty, and lead to sustainable livelihoods for children and youth.

The link between the SDGs and economic citizenship

There are seven specific SDGs that demonstrate the clear link between economic citizenship for children and youth and the attainability of the SDGs.

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Granting access to quality, affordable and convenient financial services can contribute to eradicating extreme poverty (people living on less than $1.25 a day) and reducing the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty (SDG 1.1 and 1.2). Financial inclusion should be supported by and integrated with financial, social and livelihood education to help children and youth accumulate savings and develop responsible financial behaviours, qualities that are useful to reducing the impact of economic shocks (SDG 1.5).

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages

Economic condition, income, working position, education and culture are all distal determinants of health and well-being, while social education provides more understanding of rights, empathy and respect. The combination of financial inclusion and social education is also useful to ensure universal access to information and education regarding sexual health (SDG 3.7).

SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education

Financial and livelihoods education can increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and soft skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship (SDG 4.3, 4.4, 4.6). Social and financial education can help ensure all young people, both male and female, achieve literacy and numeracy (SDG 4.6).

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls

Providing financial access and developing financial capabilities for young women and girls builds social and economic empowerment, allowing them to take advantage of greater economic opportunities alongside their male counterparts.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth

The current employment situation is very critical, especially for youth, as they represent the category with the highest unemployment rate in the labour market. A lack of relevant skills and the absence of access to appropriate financial services for entrepreneurs are two common barriers to youth employment. Through livelihoods education, youth can enhance their employability, obtain sustainable livelihoods and stimulate entrepreneurial activity (SDG 8.3, 8.5, 8.6).

SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

In order to create safe, resilient and sustainable settlements and cities, it is essential to include children and youth in urban development strategies. Engaging youth through financial inclusion, financial education and livelihood education makes the goal of creating sustainable and safe cities more achievable (SDG 11.3).

SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies

Financial education should not be limited to simply teaching children and youth how to manage finances, but also be grounded in ethical and ecologically responsible behaviour. Social education plays an important role in steering children away from financial behaviours and attitudes that may negatively affect not only personal well-being, but also that of the wider community.

Leave no one behind

Economic citizenship is a crucial factor in the fight to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities globally.

Each of the core components represented in the conceptual model for economic citizenship support various aspects of poverty eradication efforts individually, but in combination they offer a viable force to affect systemic change and break enduring cycles of poverty.

Achieving the 2030 agenda relies not only on setting goals, but also on a responsive approach to the voice and needs of youth. By equipping young people with skills, knowledge and confidence in their abilities, there is a real chance that global leaders can harness the potential of young people to reach the SDGs over the next 14 years. Together we can work towards creating a generation of empowered youth and support long-term sustainable development.


Written by Jeroo Billimoria, Founder, Child and Youth Finance International

Jeroo Billimoria is a pioneering social entrepreneur and the founder of several award-winning international NGOs. Her innovative approach to managing social ventures and bringing them to global scale has earned her fellowships with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the Skoll Foundation and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Billimoria founded Child and Youth Finance International in 2011.

Simplicity at its Best

In 2012 the California based company Ryan’s Recycling was established. While it is not unusual for a new recycling business to be established what was very unusual about this business was the fact the Founder and CEO, Ryan Hickman, was just three years old at the time. Ryan was inspired to recycle and help the […]

via 7-year-old starts his own recycling business and earns over $10,000 — International Development Journal

I encourage you to read the full post, it will inspire and motivate to change towards a simple of step of preserving nature.

When I read this post, several things came to mind;

  1. I am so jealous of what a 7 years old boy accomplished at the age of 3.
  2. There is hope for raising good kids in this world. Education exceeds beyond the four walls of school or home.
  3. I immediately think of Egypt, particularly Cairo and its pollution. I’ve been wanting to create a sustainable project similar to what this talented boy has accomplished but have been too shy to put it into practice. Egypt is going  through a major waste and pollution crisis and too little people are doing anything about it. When I think how polluted Cairo is, I can’t fathom this crisis getting worse.
  4. I think of my little country that depends so much of the marine life for their common survival. Fisherman will encounter major economic problems with the extinction of common and popular fish.

We really need to act now, this is getting too serious too fast!

Happy Hijab World Day!

I’ve always found it silly, these “world days” events like “sandwich world day”. However, for some reason this “hijab world day”, I feel compelled to speak about it. With all that is happening around the world when a non Muslim sees a hijab, it’s natural that negative thoughts may cross their minds. Therefore, I wanted to share a different light and my experiences with hijab and my faith.

If you know me very well than you know that I was not a Muslim all my life. My conversion to Islam deserves a separate post but to put it simply, being a Muslim to me is acknowledging that there is only One God who is all Powerful, all Merciful, all Knowing, the Creator of everything and only Him should I worship and submit to in supplication.

I started wearing the hijab from the day I converted to Islam in 2008. At the time if you had asked me “why do you wear the hijab”, I would be shy to tell you “that it was as if a force led me to that decision”. It wasn’t something I really pondered deeply about before wearing it but yet it felt one of the strongest decisions I had ever made in my life. My hijab journey has by no means been a perfect one. I have struggled and had dark days with it but I am now ready to share some of my struggles.

Soon after having made the decision of wearing it, I began to face many challenges, such as loosing many friends, having many confrontations with my family members and the constant reminder that I was an ambassador to my faith.During this dark moment of feeling isolated and lonesome, I wanted to take my hijab off. However, a constant reminder would come to my head that “God loves those who are patient”. So I kept asking Allah to ease my struggle with the hijab and my journey.

Shortly after, I had an epiphany with the hijab. It wasn’t until one day that I decided to walk out of the house without the hijab on that I realized the importance of it. When I didn’t had the hijab, I felt exposed, naked even though I was covered from head to toe with the exception of my hair. A couple of hours later, I went inside a public bathroom and put my scarf back on. I immediately felt a sense of warmth and contentment in my heart. After so many years of struggling with the hijab, I had finally found it’s purpose. I realized that Allah advised the women of faith to cover and take steps towards modestly, because He loves us. You see Allah wants to protect us against harassment and he wants us to be treated with upmost respect and dignity. He wants us to preserve our beauty so that is not exploited and mishandled. It is no coincidence that diamonds or pearls are hard to find, it’s beauty and value are forth the sacrifice of finding it. If you have a diamond and a pearl at your possession you will not expose it and give it anyone to just exploit it.

If you ask me today, “why I wear the hijab”, the answer will be simple, “because my Creator advised to wear it”. The Creator loves us women so much, that he wants to protect us from any source of harassment. Indeed, every time I am out of the house with my hijab I feel a tremendous rush of confidence that I will be safe and protected. Moreover, I feel the most beautiful that I have ever felt before and not because of physical looks but knowing that every time I put that hijab on, it’s an act upon my faith, it’s an attempt to be a better person.

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